1.2 School Trip
Teacher's page

You are about to go on a field trip with the entire school. There are 438 teachers, students, and administrators in your building. Everyone will be traveling by school bus. If each bus (excluding the bus driver) can seat a maximum of 30 people, how many buses will you need to transport everyone

Software: Clarisworks. Can also be shown as a transparency on an overhead projector. 

Environment: One computer classroom (see resource page )

Level: 

Strategy: 

GEPA Connections:

Setting the Stage Doing the Activity
  • Students should be encouraged to solve the problem in their own way. For example, if they decide to use a calculator they may get 438/30 = 14.6 or .08684 etc depending on whether they interpret 438/30 30 into 438 or vice versa. (Actually if I was guessing I probably would go for the incorrect interpretation since 438/30 looks so much like ). The calculator would give the two answers. Long division (at least the correct way yields.

Debrief

Understanding the sign is a prerequisite for realizing that finding a sum for this problem does not make sense. For example, students could be asked what 3 apples + 5 shoes + 7 doornobs equals? They might be tempted to say "15 items" which could be argued as correct. But the overriding question of whether it makes sense to do this addition is the main point of this discussion.

Student page
Problems page